During the colonial chronology of the United States, many a historian pictured women as better situated than their more recent contemporaries (Mary Beth Norton, 1984). The value of women in the colonies was premised on the survival mode of the colonists during that time (Norton, 1984). To survive, both male and female were expected to pull their own weight in the community for the common good of the community (Norton, 1984). Due to this situation, the common lines of separation on the roles of women from the men were blurred greatly (Norton, 1984).
As such, women in the colonies could engage in the activities that were also done by the men folk in the community (Norton, 1984). But what gave women a distinct advantage was that they could produce offspring, a very large contribution to the survival of the colonies (Norton, 1984). Also, the Common Law as it was applied in England was not fully complied with in the colonies (Norton, 1984). Hence, women were able to contribute more fully in the life of the colonies (Norton, 1984).
Today’s society bears little distinction in the role of women in the colonies. At present, women are doing many of the duties and employment that men have usually been pictured. Women can do what the men are doing to be able to cope with the increasing costs of living in the present economy of many countries. Most are successful in many of traditional endeavors of man. Sadly, there are opponents from both sides, one saying that women must be confined to their traditional station, while another seeks greater power for the women.
What lies in the crux of the issue is the issue of equality for both sexes. We must treat women as vital instruments to the growth of a society, not only as objects to look and admire at. That aim can be achieved in terms of affording greater avenues for women to make that contribution, not locking them away from them. In this day and age, all hands count in the survival of a community.
Norton, M. B. (1984). The evolution of white women’s experience in early America. The American Historical Review, Volume 89, pp. 539-619
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